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A mobile identification number (MIN) is a serial number that uniquely identifies a cell phone services subscriber within a mobile carrier network. It is used by mobile phone services providers to identify subscribers within its database, specifically when routing calls.
MIN can also be called a mobile subscriber identification number (MSIN).
MIN is similar to standard phone/mobile numbers but it is not the same thing. In most countries, MIN is a 10-digit number that is derived from the mobile’s phone number. It consists of two different parts MIN 1 and MIN 2. The MIN 1 is usually the 24-bit number after the area code. MIN 2 is the area/mobile subscriber code. The mobile number identifies the subscriber directory number, an electronic serial number for identifying the phone number, whereas the MIN is used to identify the subscriber.
The use of MIN became prevalent after the introduction of mobile number portability as subscribers were able to switch between different providers, making the mobile/subscriber directory number a less favorable way to track subscribers.